The top school officials and executives of the state’s three largest counties are calling on the Maryland General Assembly to increase funding for school construction in those jurisdictions.
In a statement from Baltimore, Prince George’s and Montgomery county school executives and board presidents argue current funding for school construction does not support "21st Century education."
"Together, our counties educate nearly half of the students in the state and half of the students impacted by poverty. An investment in the children of these three school districts is an investment in the future of Maryland," the statement from school officials reads.
In a separate statement all three county executives also argued that starting to revitalize schools in those areas will benefit the largest percentage of public school students.
Earlier this month Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz released his "legislative wish list" that included increasing the amount the state received in construction funds from $56 million to $88 million. Montgomery County Executive Isaiah Leggett announced in October that he wants $20 million from the state to help his county leverage $40 million in investments to reduce overcrowding in schools. Prince George's Public Schools is requesting $118.1 million in total for its capital improvement plan, which covers school construction and renovations.
The joint request from the state’s largest counties comes a year after the Maryland General Assembly approved the Baltimore City Public Schools Construction and Revitalization Act of 2013. The plan allows the Maryland Stadium Authority to issue $1.1 billion in bonds to pay for 15 new school and 30 renovations in the city. Baltimore has the oldest school stock in the state.
Patch local editors Laura L. Thorton and Jennifer Pompi contributed to this story.